J.C. Penney and PDS Trucking, a subsidiary of Pacer Distribution Services, have taken delivery of more than 20 new Kenworth T800 tractors that will replace aging diesel trucks currently in use by independent owner-operators in Pacer's port network.

The delivery is a step toward J.C. Penney's goal to convert 100 percent of the truck fleet handling imports at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to low-emissions, clean-diesel technology.

"This fleet conversion demonstrates that the private sector is capable of implementing sustainable, long-term solutions to port environmental issues that also preserve jobs and maintain the efficient flow of goods," said Marie Lacertosa, senior vice president and director of logistics for J.C. Penney.

Kent Prokop, president of PDS Trucking, added, "We are very pleased to be supporting our customer, J.C. Penney and the Coalition for Responsible Transportation in their efforts to reduce emissions by adding clean trucks to our owner-operator fleet. Pacer will be taking delivery of up to 230 of these trucks by early 2009."

As members of CRT, both companies have committed to sponsoring the fleet conversion to support the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports' 2012 air quality goals. The companies expect the fleet hauling J.C. Penney merchandise to meet the ports' emissions goals by early 2009 while also preserving the livelihoods of independent owner-operators in the port trucking community.

The voluntary truck replacement program is based on a leasing model providing owner-operators with new, clean trucks through a private-sector financial arrangement. The financing model represents an innovative and cost-effective way for the private sector to meet recently adopted goals for the retirement of pre-2007 diesel trucks at the Ports of LA and Long Beach.

Independent owner-operators will begin using the trucks in early December to move containers of J.C. Penney merchandise out of the ports, where a substantial portion of the retailer's apparel, home furnishings, footwear and accessories arrive from the Asia-Pacific region. The T800 trucks, with a 38-inch Aero sleeper, are powered by a Cummins ISX clean-diesel engine capable of operating on ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel or B20 biodiesel. Each clean-diesel truck with the Cummins ISX engine reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 78 percent and particulate matter emissions by 90 percent compared with a typical truck it replaces.